GAA, Na Píobairí Uileann and UCD Folklore Collection to seek UNESCO recognition following ratification of Convention

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced today (Tuesday) that the GAA (in relation to hurling), Na Píobairí Uileann and UCD Folklore Collection can now seek special UNESCO recognition, after the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was formally ratified by Ireland.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“Ratification of this UNESCO Convention paves the way for aspects of our cultural heritage to receive special recognition as being examples of ‘intangible cultural heritage’. This will not only highlight these unique aspects of our culture, it will also help to preserve them from one generation to the next.

“The GAA, in relation to hurling, Na Píobairí Uileann and the UCD Folklore Collection have all expressed a keen interest in getting this unique UNESCO recognition. The ratification of the Convention means that they can now set about preparing their detailed case as to why they should obtain recognition under the Convention. The organisations have until the end of March 2016 to complete and submit their applications to UNESCO.

“I believe that the inclusion of hurling, believed to be the world’s oldest field game, on the UNESCO list will demonstrate how a vibrant, community-based craft practice, which is upheld by a dedicated group of people on this island, can be shared with all communities and individuals from across the world.

“Similarly, the Uilleann pipes are a unique instrument, first developed in Ireland around 300 years ago. The Uilleann Pipes have a uniquely expressive and haunting sound; the sound of Ireland. The UCD Folklore Collection, meanwhile, contains a unique array of material on Irish life, folk history and culture.

“I believe that UNESCO recognition would provide a significant opportunity to showcase the uniqueness of Hurling, Uileann Piping and the UCD Folklore Collection beyond our national boundaries. I wish each of the organisations well with their applications, and my Department is happy to assist with the process in any way it can.”




Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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